• Would You Give Up Your Auto?

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by STrRedWolf
 
Conditions have to be right in order to pull it off. For instance, these have to be within short walking distance:
  • A grocery store
  • An office supply store
  • A shipper, like a UPS Store. (Can be in the office supply store)
  • A decent all-around cafe
  • A few fast food places, including a pizza joint and an asian food joint.
  • A community center
  • A train station on a line that (within reasonable time) can access an airport.
In other words, there's got to be some serious TOD in order for it to happen.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:50 am Conditions have to be right in order to pull it off. For instance, these have to be within short walking distance:
  • A grocery store
  • An office supply store
  • A shipper, like a UPS Store. (Can be in the office supply store)
  • A decent all-around cafe
  • A few fast food places, including a pizza joint and an asian food joint.
  • A community center
  • A train station on a line that (within reasonable time) can access an airport.
In other words, there's got to be some serious TOD in order for it to happen.
Well Mr. Wolf, here's me:

1) 1 mile (Albertson's Jewel)
2) 2 miles (Office Depot)
3) Same as 1
4) Three; half mile
5) Starbucks; Dominos half mile
6) in Hinsdale three miles
7) My "poor man's way to O'Hare" half mile (BNSF/METRA)

In short, I could "make do" at such time I can no longer safely drive; but we're not there yet.
  by jwhite07
 
Thanks to a rubbernecker who caused an accident I was involved in which totaled my car over a month ago, my wife and I are presently a one car household. Thankfully my wife only works two days a week and I am able to work from home in this era, so we have been able to make this situation work while I sit on a very long waitlist for a new vehicle. It is rather inconvenient, especially since I am essentially a shut-in on the days when my wife works. I live in a small town 50 miles from my company's office in Boston. If my company said tomorrow, "OK, no more WFH, gotta start coming in again", I would be in trouble. I do theoretically have access to public transit options - a small RTA serves our town with a single route about a mile away which connects to rail service to Boston. Due to the vagaries of service and schedules and walking time, that commute would take between two and a half and three hours, versus a drive of somewhere between one and two hours depending on traffic. Per Google Maps, there is no way via the combined walk/bus/train option for me to be at the office before 8:30AM, but my work day typically starts at 6:00AM. The alternative would be for my wife and I to get up at about 3:15AM so she could drop me off at the train station to catch the first train in. That would get old very quickly, and on the days she works she doesn't get out until around 8PM and has an hour commute home, so we would get home after 9PM at the earliest. Even for someone who technically has a public transit option, I would not consider it viable enough to not replace our second vehicle as soon as we can.

I lived in Boston for a decade and I never felt the need to own a car. When I got married, my wife had a car and needed it for her job as a nanny for a suburban family. We often considered her car to be a bit of a nuisance since we lived in a dense city neighborhood with no driveway/deeded parking. Hunting for an open space on the street, sometimes ending up parked several blocks away from the apartment, street cleaning days, snow shoveling and then "defend the space", getting the car scratched and bashed by poor parkers and vandals, the inevitable parking tickets for some reason or another. Like so many do, instead of getting rid of the car, I moved away. I often tell people, "Sometimes I think I miss living in the city... but then I pull into my driveway."
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:50 am In other words, there's got to be some serious TOD in order for it to happen.
Mr. Wolf; TOD - Transit Oriented Development?

If so, I had to ask Mr. Google for help.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 3:01 pm
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:50 am In other words, there's got to be some serious TOD in order for it to happen.
Mr. Wolf; TOD - Transit Oriented Development?

If so, I had to ask Mr. Google for help.
Transit-oriented development

In urban planning, transit-oriented development is a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport. It promotes a symbiotic relationship between dense, compact urban form and public transport use. Wikipedia


Basically a development that's centered around a public transport station. This is a trend which many new and existing commuter rail stations are following. Most of Wyandanch, NY was rebuilt a few years ago with two high rise apartments upon the construction of the new station with the LIRR Main Line Second Track Project.
  by eolesen
 
TOD is a boondoggle letting developers raze downtown areas via eminent domain... Villages are snookered into believing that tearing down the old and building new with tax breaks is going to revitalize their communities. The only ones who win are the developers...

It only works in areas where you have thousands of people commuting to jobs in the city. 25 miles seems to be the breaking point in Chicago for where it's worked and where it's failed.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by BitterOldRRExec
 
I gave up my auto almost exactly three years ago, December 2018, for the second time in my life. First time was when I was living in the middle of a densely populated major city with good transport.
  by Shortline614
 
I wouldn't.

I live in a county with a still under construction Metro line and a subpar bus system that only serves a small portion of where I need to go on a regular basis. Luckily biking is becoming more of an option, with the old railroad right-of-way having been converted to a trail a few decades ago and bike lanes being added on many roads. Sidewalks are always an option but the routes are often very circuitous and there are still places where they don't connect at all. Until a few years ago, there wasn't even a way for me to bike to my High School since there were no sidewalks across the highway that I need to cross, and I wasn't about to risk my life braving it.

Not to mention there are plenty of places that I go to on a semi-regular basis that have non-car transportation options that simply don't work for me. I can get to the airport by bus, with regular flights to both Charlotte and Atlanta. Amtrak I've found out isn't a viable option for me. I could get around Charlotte with public transportation, but Atlanta is only a stopping point for me most of the time, and I am not about to pay Uber or Lyft a billion dollars to transport me 100+ miles into rural Georgia.

Heck, until Metro and the bus service get their ducks in a row, I can't even go into D.C., a city 40 miles away without a car!

The unfortunate reality is for the vast majority of Americans, cars are absolutely necessary to get around. Unless you live in a big city with excellent public transportation, getting rid of your car is simply not an option. You also have to factor in the psychological aspect. To many people, giving up their car is like giving up their freedom to move. Rightly so I think.
  by rcthompson04
 
When we moved recently we lost a bidding war on a house 4 blocks from the Paoli station. If we got that house we would have dropped from 2 cars to 1 car. We ended up buying a house about 5 minutes from Malvern station. The more likely thing for us will be basically keeping cars for very long periods of time. We have a 10 year old SUV and a 6 year old sedan. We will probably keep the SUV until we grow out of it and the car until it dies. Neither are high mileage.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:38 am
STrRedWolf wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:50 am Conditions have to be right in order to pull it off. For instance, these have to be within short walking distance:
  • A grocery store
  • An office supply store
  • A shipper, like a UPS Store. (Can be in the office supply store)
  • A decent all-around cafe
  • A few fast food places, including a pizza joint and an asian food joint.
  • A community center
  • A train station on a line that (within reasonable time) can access an airport.
In other words, there's got to be some serious TOD in order for it to happen.
Well Mr. Wolf, here's me:

1) 1 mile (Albertson's Jewel)
2) 2 miles (Office Depot)
3) Same as 1
4) Three; half mile
5) Starbucks; Dominos half mile
6) in Hinsdale three miles
7) My "poor man's way to O'Hare" half mile (BNSF/METRA)

In short, I could "make do" at such time I can no longer safely drive; but we're not there yet.
In my case:

1) 4 miles (Giant Food) at least.
2) 4.2 miles (Staples in a different direction)
3) Four miles (UPS store in same as #1)
4) Orchard Cafe, 5.2 miles (and next to another grocery store)
5) Here, there's a McD's, a Royal Farms, and a mom-and-pop donut place within "walking" distance... but the area isn't good for walking.
6) Local elementary school ("walkable") is used as one. More dedicated one may be 4 miles away.
7) 4 miles (Odenton MARC station)... but for the airport, that's the opposite direction. BWI is 5.5 miles away from house to gate C.

Now if there was regular bus service between Arundel Mills, Odenton MARC, and Crofton...
  by 2nd trick op
 
This choice isn't always left up to us; poor co-ordination, aggravated by a worsening scoliosis (spinal curvature) issue forced me to stop driving three years ago.

To get around, I now rely on what is termed "Senior Paratransit" -- a pool of vans and small buses operated by a non-profit in York, PA, and serving about 15 smaller Central Pennsylvania counties, Service revolves mostly around a large regional hospital in Danville , but you can get your groceries, banking, haircuts, etc done at a fare compatible with city bus services (which haven't operated in this area since the late Sixties). The biggest inconvenience is having to schedule everything a day in advance, but my previous dispatching experience has enabled me to make a lot of friends there, and they've never let me down.

https://www.rabbittransit.org

And a nation-wide organization dedicated to coordinating all the options for getting around for us who can no longer drive is emerging.

https://www.nadtc.org/
  by daybeers
 
Wowowow, some really glass half empty responses here, though Pennsyfan and 2nd trick's responses provide some logic.

I would implore you all to explore Strong Towns and Not Just Bikes. Learn why being several miles away from a grocery store or other essential needs is generally not sustainable from an environmental or financial point of view. Yes, that means many millions of people and endless acres of development isn't viable. That may sound silly, but you just wait for the inevitable collapse of the housing market in North America due to its sprawling suburbia. Trust me, it'll be way worse than 2008.

Pennsyfan, the solution is not tiny pods or vehicles shuttling people for first mile/last mile solutions. Maybe in the short run, but that style of development that necessitates that isn't viable; it never was.
  by scratchyX1
 
Sadly, Auto dependent suburban sprawl is a ponzi scheme, and the collection has started.
The infrastructure for it was never sustainable. I'm wondering how Boise idaho, which is one of the fastest growing cities, will deal with it.
  by daybeers
 
Yes yes, it is a ponzi scheme! Not Just Bikes has a video on that excact topic.
  by bdawe
 
No, but that's because my automobile is primarily a weekend gettaway machine rather than a primary means of transportation. I and my spouse walk to work. If I didn't live within walking distance I would bike